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2005 2006 


SMavare VaSty Go&ege 


XatMeen Weaver 

SPuMicatim s/idi/idor 
S)r. ^Karen Schramm 


nMJ,A r 




2005-2006 leaner Staff 

XrMan Jiake 


6d sAngerami 

Sfiatrice Ga&ano 

o£orm ^arnett o£ewi& 


S^ront Cover: tAdem SZitber 

tfrmde SBach Cover: ^ohn jffeu&der 

JBach Cover: tAngefa Weber 

SpecM thank& to th& fe&Bwing: 

3)r. Jiinda jKai6e£for coordinating the 
( ^£eaner tffigh Schoot Writing Competition 

Mr. SSany Sknfinger and 
tyiger printing, ^oup, for their time and genero&ty 

JKr Zffhnk &. &ox and SFox SQindery, S/hc. for their time and (fenero&ity 

So Many Words, So Little Time 

I admit it. I'm a word whore and a writer, which explains, and to some extent 
should exonerate, my lustful love affair with words. A voracious reader, I gluttonously 
gobble up words as fast as my middle-aged eyes can travel across a page. I am so 
obsessed with words I keep several fluorescent yellow Hi-Liters® stashed around the 
house, and in my truck, never knowing when the urge will strike to highlight an 
unknown word. Rest assured, only books I personally own fall victim to my Hi- 
Liters®. Lately, my obsession has escalated to carrying a small notebook where I 
greedily scribble my word treasures. However, I discovered I am not alone in this 
obsession, as other writers have readily confessed to this practice and in print no less. 

On my desk, standing like soldiers at attention, are two dictionaries and a the- 
saurus. In addition, I have at least four other, newer dictionaries but these two see the 
most action. A faded red, circa 1975 hard back cover torn at the edges stands at the 
ready for words no longer used or carried over to its newer, circa 2001 edition neigh- 
bor. Which prompts me to wonder what the shelf life of a dictionary is in the new mil- 
lennium? There are times, I swear, when I hear the three of them calling me or, much 
worse, bickering like siblings over who will be grabbed first. 

Often, through no fault of their own, all six fail me and that's when my mind 
wanders off to dream about owning the mother of all dictionaries - the 20 volume 
Oxford English Dictionary revered and lovingly referred to by seriously addicted word- 
smiths as the OED. 

The OED's 22,000 pages, encompassing 500,00 entries, might temporarily slake 
my insatiable obsession, until the next edition emerges, for not only newer words but 
older words unceremoniously discarded through lack of use but still fondly remem- 
bered by those who still employ them. 

Unfortunately, the $ 1 500 cost is well beyond my paltry salary, not to mention 
the space it would engulf in my small house. But if I could afford such a glorious bas- 


tion of the English language, as well as the moving men needed to deliver it - it 
weighs 151 pounds--, it would be ensconced on an oak lectern with a recessed spotlight 
shining over it. Yes, I am well aware a more affordable CD-ROM version exists, but 
looking up a word via that conduit defeats and greatly lessens the experience one gar- 
ners by looking words up the traditional way. 

The CD-ROM version, no doubt, has the ubiquitous, narrow rectangular box 
where you key in the word. Within seconds, like magic, the word and its various defi- 
nitions appear and that's all -just that word. For someone so obsessed with words, 
it's like putting me in solitary word confinement. Whereas, turning crinkly, onion-skin 
pages, the traditional way, allows for an added and greater benefit - a smorgasbord of 
words in the vicinity of the word you're looking for. Who knows? You might discover 
a word you never knew or reunite with one you forgot. To some it might seem a labo- 
rious process but it's no different than getting lost in the pages of a good book. 

I realize I am a dinosaur in a society that clamors for and relishes the insane 
speed of text messaging, emoticons, and acronyms to communicate. But I am deter- 
mined to tenaciously cling, like a Titanic survivor, to the traditional way of looking for 
a word and its various definitions. For a serious word lover and a writer, whose motto 
is "so many words, so little time," it's as much about the journey as it is the destina- 

Chris Ochadlick 

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SMum£fti4 Me Snmf&m Mm/^/imi/ Me a/f/w 
cMe mom 4udatm$> e/Mee/?>) $m tik atae 

/MM e//e/ee 

//////// //// 

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°%mt$' ddm faf. /# a at$fe(/ a/mms/ 

^M<maM 4am cmdttmed ' ut and oleoma awa4m 

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^y/d met, me, Me 4$m am/ aeo 

f //o >/eae///e/ //'e //w/m 

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~)iiem ao& $m t^e^ea* w/M /4e mei/ima aew 

^/am <me tecffleM tmw fiuito 
J£md 'Me (/earn me4 mfa jadae// tmea/ 
Csv aettctf/u Me magee 

<j/e 40m mi4 mo4tf 

^ ' /meMefr me modi 4am/ m 4am/ 
5^/(A^^^y /Mf m Me aam/ 
jS^Hetm 'iw tewwm maeMei a& (me 
4 ao/t At- Me 4eMm< <jftm 

The S/nctt 

Hare you eye/* (elt- 
t hat you swelled a smelt 
a s//ielt that's melt 
is a smelly smelt 

Consider the lowly smelt 
o( him, fee /vqui/v, not /it's pelt 
To warm us in ear snowy eti/nes 
/// /ii/n estee/n, we haven 't heldt 
unlike the tiger in stripe-ed veldt 
no/ 1 thought hi/n much -subli/ne 

But in his mirth, upon the earth 
we've strived, to shorten his time 
because he is a ///est delicious (fish 
and makes up quite a tasty dish 
whether baked, sauteed, or (fried 

The smelt is a hydrogenous (is//- you know 
whether to salty seas, or streams o( melting snow 
he 'It exultantly swim, and most cheerfully go 

To purchase him -is quite reasonable 
(ind him in -(ish (cods that are (reezable 
yes, caught up neatly in poly-bags you'll (ind 
him nicely packaged, -in quite a bind 

/nvite him back to dinner as your guest 
(or taste he is reputed, among the best 
-this /'vc done- and more (/ con(ess / 
/n churches- /have never knelt 
top/Hiy (or the souls o( the smelt 
solemnities, not required, so / (clt 
(or such smal(-(ry, as the lowly smelt 

But at least / do him the honor today 
since he's not one o( the (ishies -that got away 
to make o( him, some smalt simple snack 
so (or purpose, his li(e will not have lacked 

/ tell you (in conclusion/ / have bchcldt 
the (ine, the small, the glorious smelt 
(and have o(tcn thought/ and sometimes (clt 
that a smelt that's melt is a smelly smelt 

by Chris Mullen 

P/ictc by Cheryl Mwizza "Reflections 

April 21, 2005, I tkwfe. 


». " 

'jCeta dec...,yett tc.... 




"Ifc I wM |twt icmcwtk'i." 


"Wod it yeaiaHmj, todmj, c* jwt 
a Htiwute agct? 


4 T(tcde peafoj {Jw«p! 
'It dcfidn't mattci." 


luidk I fwteui." 

Dn. Riclmtd Zicmct, PkD. 

Two for One 

Burnt orange, softening wisps of white 
The sentry of time orders darkness to rest 
It is here on this beach that I greet first light 

I watch my mother's hand move gulls in flight 
The sound of waves, her measured lullaby 
Loving and singing all that is brought to life 
She toils in life giving more than what's meant 
Giving, giving until all is spent 
The wave rolls in and I am left onshore crying. 
Her love, now my life 
Silently she returns to the sea 

Thor and his hammer thunder at wave-break 

A relentless pounding, echoing what is right 

Solitary eyes with no reprieve, 

belying truth, tested and true 

Sound is torn asunder as brilliance strips sense 

I watch in tears as the wave rolls out 

His truth, now my life 

Silently he returns to the sea 

They are gone now 

But each wave says no 

Love rolls in and truth rolls out 

Somewhere in between we question and doubt 

The answer is given at the end of the ride 

So be silent, feel their motion deep inside 

Jimi McGee 


Photo by Jill Geisler 

Losing the Battle 

Shrouded in a dark cloud 

Barely a trace of life. 

Tears surrounding the pain. 

Relentless is death, 

A predator pursuing the undeserving. 

Torturous pain. 


But freedom is in death, 

I am here. 

Presence known, 

Calms the soul of the dying. 

Lightens the load. 

Loves me still. 


Fading away. 

Regret progressing. 

Death's grip holding. 

No more pain for the dead 

Troubled thoughts. 



In memory of the ever 

devoted and loving Stewie 

Summer 1999 - Winter 2002 

Katie Sickles 


The Melody of Trees 

With magic and majesty just so fair 

The wind sweeps solemnly throughout the air 

While silver boughs on ancient trees 

Drink swiftly from the distant seas 

Lost is the sky, behind a veil 
As such, one would think the Sun had failed 

Yet the trees whisper as the wind blows 
The notes dance freely - while the song flows 

From tree to tree the song passes 

Each one adding to glorious stashes 

The song once so simple and true 

Now surrounds me closer, like walls of a room 

Oh, the texture and feelings released 

Some rage out while others retreat 

Some tell of pain and hardships beyond. 

Others of things of which they are fond 

The song brings silence to my savaged soul 

For a moment again I'm undoubtedly whole 

Then slowly dying the song gains distance 

One last echo bore intermittence 

Yet again the trees stand, forged to their ground 

But silenced are voices - those the wind found 

Until once again boughs sway in time 

The melody of trees is silent with rhyme. 



I'd Do Anything 

I'd do anything to show my love for you. 
No matter what it be that you put me through. 

I'd cross the Sahara to show you my devotion. 
My love is much stronger than mu love potion. 
I'd climb Mount Everest just to make you smile, 

I'd swim the entire distance of the great Nile. 

Around the world in 80 days, 

I'm willing to charm you in man\^ ways. 

I'd take a trip on the Oregon Trail, 

With you as m\^ inspiration I cannot fail. 
Take a trip on Apollo 13, how far I'd go for you has yet to be seen. 

I'd fly alone through the Bermuda Triangle, 

I'd do anything to enchant you. This is mu angle. 

For you I'd go to the ends of the Earth, 

I'll do anything you want, for all it's worth. 

I'd go to Fenway wearing a Yankee's cap, 

Steal cheese from a loaded mousetrap. 

I'd run with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, 

With m\^ hands I'd try to stop a moving train 

For you I'd find the Coveted Ark, 

Walk at night alone through Central Park. 

I'd go sky diving into the heart of Iran, 

I'll show you my dedication whenever I can. 

There's no limit to how far I'd go, 
I'd sit through a marathon of That 70s Show. 

Off Niagara Falls I'd go kayaking, 
If I'm not pleasing you then I must be slacking. 


I'd go for a swim in shark infested seas, 
Lock myself in a room full of killer bees. 

I'd jump the grand Canyon, the Evil Knievel way, 

I don't know what else I can do, try or say. 

I'd stand on my hands for a century and a half, 

I'd do anything at all just to make you laugh. 

I'd stand through a tornado in the flats of the Midwest, 

If I'm bringing you joy then I'm at m\^ best. 

I'd take on a force stronger than the Roman Empire, 

Fight single handedly against a raging forest fire. 

I'd go with no clothes to the arctic cold, 

I'd live to make you happy, even when I'm old. 

I'd tour the rainforest without a tour guide, 

I'd fight 10 tigers with both hands tied. 

I'd challenge a jaguar to a little foot ram, 

Whatever it takes to light up your beautiful face. 

I'd walk on fire with bare feet, 

Without water take on the sun's worst heat. 

I don't have much to offer, just my dedication, 
But I'll do anything to amaze you without reservation. 

I'd build you pyramids to rival giza, 

Anything at all if I know it will please \^a. 

I'd find the Holy grail and bring it to your home 

I'd fight with no weapons in the Coliseum of Rome. 

I'd do all these things just for a start. 

I'll do anything at all just to mm your heart. 

Ryan Neary 


Photo by Ryan Neary 

Generation Gap 


Thunder rolling through the storm 
Lightning flashes and the clouds are torn 
Like the sky above on the day you were born 

I'm seeing rain and wind in a swirling form 


Soft and warm but it can glow so bright 

Like the sun which shines away your nights 
Like the heat which bursts as it self-ignites 
I'm seeing fire and steam and spontaneous light 

Larry Stelmach 


Secret Window 

I want to know 

The person you are 

When you're all alone 

No watching eyes 

Staring you down 

No listening ears 

Taking in your sounds 

No groping hands 

Holding you down 

I want to gaze at you 

Secretly, indiscreetly 

I want to run my fingers 

Through your hair 

And not have you see me 

Just know that I'm there 

I want to hear you sing in the shower 

Filling the room with 

Forbidden hidden melodies 

I want to breathe in 

The smell of your cologne 

As it caresses your skin 

Melting into the water droplets 

That are attempting to evaporate 

I want to trace your glistening muscles 

With my trembling fingertips 

Feeling the perfect definition 

I want to hold onto you 

Hear your heart beat through 

That big, soft sweatshirt 

I want to hover over your shoulder 

As you write your mysterious verses 

Laying out your true self 

I want to see the you 

That you try to hide 

But I know it's there 

Deep down it resides 

I want to pull it out 

Take you by the hand 

I want to be 

Inside your world 

Photo by Tamara Moorman 


Photo by Kirstin Schumm 

To be, rrze 

To dance, with hois- and to converse with £inds 

Preferring* not one to the other- 

To die and to be reborn- to diKKerent fiv-es 

To be Kreed by, the iov-em arms ok the damsei pov-ertw 

From the damaging ciutches ok the coquette damped weacth 

And to caugh at death, To caugh at him in his mce f and at aw his minions 

oaring I am worthar- / hau-e been chosen to iiv-e to cov-e to faugh, 

(and/ iKev-enKor this brief: moment —/ am aoio-ef 

oauinfr- ni either- do /desire death —nor do f court ii^e undum 

( wiw not be enticed bo* either you, -or the other one 

"ou cannot attract me with promises ok beauties, that are aoready within me- 

There is nothing that Me can give me that f do not already possess 

And nothing that the shadow ok night can ta/oe away^rom me 

That once stolen, the dar£ thieK never owns 


An eye for the catch, 

He's the yin to my yang, 

No need to ask am I his everything 

He shows me his fears and protects me from mine 

He assures me of his intentions in mind 



Despite the flaws that are shown 
eating a future with me is his ultimate goal 
Regulating his life also involving mine 

:+-**■<* «-*-» fool tYtic \kt^\t — rripre i« no nnrertaiTltv in 

I pray for him and he frays for me 
An ear to hear imr soul, 

In unison he sees us as we 

Soft spoken when speaking toward me 

Chooses to speak of a tongue which is profound 

T sing dignity, integrity, intelligently responding to me 

There's poetic rhyme to his reasoning 

Presents himself as a perfect gentleman 

He expresses his etiquette ways 

Traditionally woos me 

Orchids are optional 


V\'C('I i.Ki 

Lilies can be lovely 
But his heart is what I fancy 

Unique, I AM, withi 

To him I'm no compafl 

Tells me 'I love you' an? 

things indicated and shows his fact | 

That's why I call him...R< 



'* v**y * 


i-l II 1 I i 1 ! 


Photo by Alexis Ilitter 

Qtf/ute wint/j diving yieiceA/ 

tAwugA fowling jo/jti£e ait. 

&a/o/u jcizin// pazadie/m 

toued andez (Saztejian ava/eznc/ie. 

<*7 itand m^ai-oft zeacAej 

zejp/ene/ent in wAite 6eaz coat. 

(Son//ueung nu/tAic monjteu 

tAe z/od of deatA/feezz men. 

Jf ca// to Aeaz onA/ eeAo, 

tAe ¥/od tAe je/f Aaj won. 

baptized 6t/ ajzze 

tAatJzeezej ad to one. 

yiml C/^e^ee 

Photo by Ryan Neary 



M ., if 


The Rain Drop 

The light patter of the rain against the window dazzled the 
young child. With widened eyes and a gaping mouth, she 
found that the water sliding down the glass grabbed her 
attention. The tiny prints from the fingers of curious hands 
smeared the once clean glass. Her breath emerged on the win- 
dow and disappeared magically. The icy tinge from the freez- 
ing window sent chills up her spine with every touch. With 
each droplet missed, she let out a frustrated groan and 
frowned. The curious sensation provoked thought in the girl. 
She found it odd that the window was freezing, but every- 
thing else was warm and cozy. She didn't understand why she 
could see the water drops race down the window, but couldn't 

catch them. She would not accept this. Another capture 

_. .... . ■• ■ ■. ■ i 

saw the treasure. An oversized water drop edged its way 
down the window, overpowering smaller raindrops. As it 
zigged and zagged, it captured more and more raindrops and 
grew larger and larger still. The child's anticipation over- 
whelmed her. She thrust her chubby hands at her target with 
stunning accuracy. She struggled to capture the drop, smear- 
ing more prints onto the window. As the drop weaved away 
* from her, she frowned. Suddenly, a gust of wind picked the 
drop up and carried it away. It laughed at the girl as she real- 
ized what had happened. Kicking the wall, she became angry, 
but not long enough to resist trying to capture another drop. 
Inside, deserted toys covered the floor. These china dolls, 
stuffed bears, and china tea sets, unable to keep the child's 
short attention span, lay on the floor rotting away. Christmas 
toys, birthday toys, Easter toys, and toys from Kmart were 
forever cursed for their failure to entertain the child and forev- 
er banished to the floor. The stuffed animals yearned for a 
hug, the games longed for another chance to be played, and 
the Fisher Price kitchen desired to cook one more pizza. 
Hundreds of dollars were wasted as the child enjoyed the sim- 
ple pleasure of watching rain droplets run down the window. 
Freshly baked cookies crept their way towards the consumed 
child. The smell grabbed the child and refused to let go. A 
spark went off in the child's eyes as she took the overwhelm- 
ing bait. The realization of the treat widened the eyes more. 
With what she thought as careful planning, she deserted the 
absorbing window. The tantalizing smell lured the child into 
the kitchen for more mischief and maybe a forbidden cookie. 

Tamara Moorman 

Photo by Lindsay 

f\ A. 


Sleeping Reautg 

You tcalize, of course, that you can't wake me 

from mu slumber 

TKe poison tuns too deep 

You cant wake me, sleeping 

Sleeping fteauty 

The thotns rising up, suttounding, glistening 

You realize, of course, that the Princes 

efforts are futile 

Crawling through the thorns 

Lacerated to the core 

Don't bother 

I'm too far gone 

There's no use in rescuing her 

The blood has pooled 


Ruhu ted lips and pale potcelain 

Amongst the glistening poison 

The Prince needs the tescuing 

Too fat gone with poison 

The Prince joins het in slumhet 

No use ttging to wake them 

Theg sleep fot all etetnitu 

If Sleeping Beautg could wake up, 

What would that mean? 

Het prince is dead ftom het poison 

So she would hathe his wounds 

And kiss his heatt 

To wake het Sleeping fteautg 

Michelle Neumann 


Qui/ Obh/ tisi£/ ^e^JCil^MA-' tnsOtiJ- tluZb (y- (XZ^^t^Uxb hsU&iz-e/. 

(/iA/ i^UaX3vi/ C&v (yd/ UAZs(y txy ou&awaA&< tOvetw/ <Zd/ Lddz^/, 
(2A£/ tl^ey/ h&AAy YveA£/ i^yyuy tOu&b (ytw cteoceJbe/i 

J (sis&ve/b/ tGCr n^oudn/ tc tOuOi<xJz/ (ZwyuJv, (y l^eed (2/ \yv&2>ks, 
(yiXMh HnAxXivu t^uyve. Oft/ tlvoh/ CU^\/ (,■ tCMZ&i 

<7(jw (y cte&fcu^ecl/ to- GVUHOlT/ 0(ny GUv &iwyxbuytsUvC/ 

(_Jv Oh/ tlvlh/ & test tc- covuzb szz<yvOLoeeA (stw 
cl^UCU^M/ txy t'vuzkzse/, 

(y^yCra}eoe/i/ tecay Ob m^GO/ h&e*w, 

(y fwUAb> X&>in&wJye/l/, Ob OJGA> CrPxixP G/ OA&G*vv. . . 

Photo by John Heusser 
"Sailor's Delight" 


Once Loved 

Even the least of us are loved 
Even the most unnoticeable... 

But this hole seems much too large for you. 

Even the most unusual can be loyal 
Even the most unexpected... 

But this emptiness seems much too deep for you. 

Even the ones who cannot articulate 
Even the ones who cannot speak... 

But this darkness seems too overwhelming for you. 

Even I can now understand 
Even I can now see... 

How much you meant to me. 

For my little wheeler.. .Nemo 
Summer 2002 - Winter 2004 

Katie Sickles 


Dr\e ?ra:\r\c 

Long ago the prairie wild- was in your all 
your jjentle smite you knew its wave ajnd all its 
mite, its carefree day and funed fire 
All were tucked away somewhere -each petal 
-stamen - blade of jjrass ax)d how they would 
unfurl- And where each or^e you'd place as 
best -in relation to the rest. And then- 
how the wind would whirl ax\ds through that 
sea its whistling swirl, to launch aloft the 
downy seed - in wisdom for the prairie's rack. 
You who knew this- more indeed, knew mer) 
would come and call them weeds -even life or) 
silken wings -as if they were not worthy 

by Chns Mullen 


Don't Steal Towels (and Other Marriage Tips) 

I once stole a towel from a Hilton Hotel. It was in Rye, New York. I was on a business trip to see a 
client and I had used the Hilton's pool. They had towels at poolside. You didn't have to bring one 
from your room. But, as opposed to the fluffy white towels you found in the rooms there, the towels 
at poolside were thin and a couple different shades of pink. In short, they were pretty ugly towels. 

I took a pink towel back to my hotel room after a swim and I got a call that said I was needed urgent- 
ly back at the office. I had to check out right away. After some rapid packing, there was the matter 
of the wet bathing suit. I decided to take it home wrapped in one of the Hilton pink towels. 

When I got home and unpacked my luggage, I came across the towel. Now the sensible thing would 
have been to return it to the Hilton on my next trip, but looking at the towel I wondered if it was 
worth the effort. I decided to use it to clean my golf clubs or some other equally unworthy task. I 
put it in the laundry basket and forgot about it. 

A couple days later, my wife left on a trip to Ohio to see her parents; the kids went with her because 
they were out of school. I was left on my own for a week. The day before they came back I was 
forced into my clean-up mode. 

My wife and I have different tolerances for disorder. I seem to thrive in it while she hunts it down 
like a suspected terrorist. Under normal everyday living circumstances, there are only minor issues. 
A few times a week she will find situations I have created which push her over her limit, she will 
chastise me for my transgressions, and I will make a half-hearted effort to clean up. She will then 
improve my work up to her standards and we will continue on. But when she goes away and comes 
back, it is much more serious. It is as if she forgets our system. Particularly coming back from her 
mother's immaculate housekeeping style, she is liable to react quite strongly (and for quite a long 
time) to my style of disorder. 

Over the years I have developed self-preservation strategies to handle my wife's periodic trips and 
returns. The first strategy was to make her return a celebration. If she went away by herself, the kids 
and I would decorate the house with streamers, balloons, and "welcome home" signs. Confetti 
would be everywhere. We would create 
such a mess that the disorder which 
occurred while she was away turned 
into background noise. This worked 
once because she was touched. The sec- 
ond time, not so good. She correctly 
pointed out that it just created a lot 
more work for her to do. 


My second strategy was what I called "the big box." This was a strategy I had developed during my 
single days and refined to an art in marriage. I would take a large box, say something the size a big 
screen TV comes in, and go around the house and pick up anything that was obviously not clean or in 
its correct place and put it in the box. When all the debris was in the box, I would hide it some- 
where (garage, attic, etc.). A quick turn with the vacuum to make the rug stand up a bit and I was 
done. This was a pretty successful system until something important was missing and I had to reveal 
the location of the box. Like one time I had some dishwashing issues and I deposited some used pots 
and pans in the box. Not so good. 

A third strategy turned into the worst failure and made me recognize that there is a certain hopeless- 
ness to life. I employed strategy number three when my wife left me at home with the kids for a 
week. The house rapidly deteriorated. Two days before she came home, I took a day off from work. 
I cleaned everything. All the laundry in the house was washed and put away. All the rooms were 
vacuumed. All the bathrooms were cleaned. I washed all the floors and windows. I sent the kids 
away to sleepovers the night before my wife's return and I cleaned their rooms from top to bottom. I 
made all the beds. The mail was all sorted. The trashcans were all emptied. The litter boxes were 
clean. The food in the pantry was sorted and in straight rows. There was fresh milk and bread. The 
lawn was cut. When she arrived home I was exhausted, but I had a roast in the oven and we sat 
down to a full dinner in the dining room where the table was set and fresh flowers decorated the cen- 
ter of the table. Before dessert, she took a walk around the house. I heard her go up into the attic 
and out in the garage looking for the box. She came back to the table and started to cry. At first I 
mistook the crying as tears of joy, but they were not. She started to shake a little. "You don't need 
me," she sobbed. "\ could die and you wouldn't miss me." Not so good. 

So, with this history in mind, I was now preparing the house for 
my family's return. I had settled on my fourth Wife 
Management Strategy: the house needs to be just below her 
minimum standards. She'll come home, get mad, but only a lit- 
tle. In a couple hours we are back to normal. I had developed 
a checklist of optimum conditions. The trashcans are half full. 
The sink is three quarters full of dirty dishes, but the counters 
are spotless. The living room and dining room rugs are vacu- 
umed, but the family room rug has clearly not been touched. 
There is a full load of towels that are dirty, but the sinks and the 
shower are at 90%. The mail is unsorted, but nicely stacked in 
a cardboard box. We are just about out of milk and bread, but 
have enough to make it to tomorrow. 

This strategy had actually worked a couple of times, so I was 
somewhat confident. My checklist said everything was right 
except for the towels. I had almost 2 loads of dirty towels. I 
quickly put one of the loads in the wash. When the towels 
came out of the dryer, I noticed the pink towel from the Hilton. 


But, I was in a rush. My wife had called when they had exited the Turnpike and she would be home 
in about ten minutes. I quickly took the laundered towels upstairs and put them all away in the bath- 

At first, strategy four went exactly to plan. The kids were happy to be home and out of the car. 
Luggage was everywhere. My wife looked around at the condition of the house and said, "I guess it 
could be worse." I congratulated myself on a well-earned victory. However, there was a time bomb 
ticking in the linen closet. 

The next day when I got home from work it was clear that something was amiss. My wife was not 
speaking to me. She was withdrawn and distant. Some people claim that they know their significant 
other so well that they can read their minds. I have never been able to do that. I think it is only 
women that make this claim. A man trying to read a woman's mind is trying to read a book written 
in a language with alien letters and symbols that he can never understand. So for me, when my wife 
is in one of these moods, it becomes a guessing game I call: "What is wrong now?" Here is how you 
play: I get to ask a series of questions. The first is, "What's wrong?" The answer will be "Nothing" 

or "You don't care." It is then up to me to ask questions that begin with, "Is it ?" or "Are you 

?" Responses may come back in the form of a sentence, a sentence fragment, a sigh, or a ges- 
ture. A sarcastic comment usually means you are very cold. The game continues until you guess the 
problem or you are confronted with it in a torrent of words that start out about your lack of sensitivi- 
ty and end up with the statement of the problem. Terms of surrender are negotiated and the game is 

However, this time I was a poor contestant. I could tell by her answers that 1 wasn't even close. I 
gave up and went upstairs. A couple minutes later she followed me. She had something behind her 
back. I was pretty sure it wasn't a weapon. She looked at me and said, "You had a girl over here 
when I was gone." 

I was stunned, but happy. Here for a change I was being blamed for something of which I was not 
guilty. What a relief. I fought back a smile and said, "Why would you say that?" 

"Because, she left her laundry." My wife produced the 
pink Hilton towel from behind her back. 

At this point, I laughed. Guys, you may get a lot of advice 
on marriage. Some of it will be good, but a lot will be 
bad. But here is a piece of advice I have a lot of confi- 
dence in: the best response after being accused of infideli- 
ty is not laughing. My wife threw the towel at me and left 
the room, slamming the door behind her. 

I should not have laughed, but I had experienced a series 
of weird associations at the sight of that towel. At first, I 


thought of myself as some cheap vacation rental property where you have to bring your own sheets 
and towels. Then I tried to envision the type of girl who would bring her own linens to a tryst. 
Finally, I had moved on to the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" where a famous maxim is to 
"always know where your towel is." These thoughts had flashed through my mind and caused me to 
laugh - exactly the wrong thing to do. 

I gave my wife ten minutes to settle down and I went to find her. She was sitting in the library star- 
ing at an open book. "Look," I started, "I didn't bring a girl ...." 

She looked up at me and interrupted with an "I know." 

I stared at her. "Ten minutes ago, you accused me of having a girl over here and now you say you 
know I didn't. What changed your mind? Did Oprah call?" 

"You laughed," she said. "You wouldn't have laughed if it were true." 

"So there is no problem, right?" I was stupid to be so hopeful. 

She turned away slightly. "What kind of insensitive person would laugh about something like that? 
You could see I was upset. Only an insensitive jerk would find it funny." 

I thought of explaining about the shore rental, girls who bring their own laundry, and about 
Hitchhikers.... And then I thought, what is the point? I had been insensitive. I had stolen a towel 
from Mr. Hilton. I was guilty of insensitivity, just at a different time and place than my wife was 
describing. I told her that I was wrong and that I would try to be a better person. 

Guys, while you are married, you are going to mess up. You are going to forget an anniversary. You 
are going to stare at that twenty-year-old girl in a bikini a little too long when you are at the shore. 
You are going to play golf when you told her you were going to the office. You are going to get 
caught for some of these things, but not all. Not nearly. So when you are accused of something that 
you think is unfair, the best course of action may be to just admit it. Just think of all the things you 
have gotten away with; you're still way ahead. And in the long run, it leads to a happier wife. 

No wife wants a perfect husband. A perfect 
husband is no fun because he can't be 
improved. A perfect husband might be stolen 
away by someone younger and prettier. With 
a perfect husband, there is little a wife can 
complain about to her girlfriends. Don't limit 
your wife's happiness by trying to be too good 
a person. And that is the best piece of mar- 
riage advice I can give you. 

Larry Stelmach 


All About You 

Onyx eyes I want to kiss. 

A black silken mane to twist and curry 

Entwining limbs with bites, 

galloping, galloping in lather and froth. 

Heated breath of winter mountains, 
moon reflected on the sweat of breast, 
Inside the warm wet of sunwaves, 
bucking in wildness 
I flow into her sea. 

Jimi McGee 

Photo by Katie Sickles 


When Tim walked into my office May 1985, after final exams, I thought he wanted to 





Later that year at Thanksgiving when my father had a stroke at his home in Oregon, it 
was Tim's family that I called first and asked for their prayers as I made my way to my 


done" that offered me comfort during that incident and my dads soon, eventual 
death, short of a fortnight. 

After our daughter's graduation from high school my own mother and my wife were 
standing near me when i was dispatched to get the car to pick them up. as i left the 
bleachers, i could see graduates tossing mortar boards up into the air, writing down 
contact numbers of their friends, exchanging keepsakes, and hugging one another 
Later that night as my wife and I were alone, she reflected, "Your mother said some- 
NESS"? Could that explain why I am often perceived as an emotional icicle? "A stuffed 
shirt" as some of my own college classmates rumored it? Had I BECOME so distanced 
from others since my father's death? Dad would have relished the moment! I was at a 
loss for an answer 

Last fall semester (2004) another student who participated extensively in Introduction 
to Sociology class, but who was not without many complications in his life, was a 
vibrant communicator although i was not sure what adams major was, i witnessed 


both his readiness to contribute heavily to class discussion and read his well-written 
essays. During the semester he stopped often at my office to explain why he missed a 
class, or that he had cut his finger on the deli meat slicer at his parents' business and 
would miss class. when he walked into the office, he did not shake hands but instead 
extended both arms to embrace me. llttle did i realize he might be reaching out for 




With the turnover in students each semester new classes started in January and I never 


showed me Adam's obituary that I learned Adam died of complications apparently 


were cheated out of another alumnus, out of a friendship, out of another potential 
journalist, or who knows what else? 

With the plague of political correctness swinging the wrecking ball at many of our 
civilization's institutions, our families, our religious convictions, and our humane-ness, 
I'm nourished by the human touch I've felt before and since Adam and Tim. Now Tim 
has his own private vet practice where he engages in the healing arts for animals. 
Years ago when I saw a miniature stethoscope for birds and small animals, I bought it 


by Dr Richard C. Ziemer, Professor of Liberal Arts; Delaware Valley College 



You k fiew, 

They all say, "You 11 be (fine, " 

When a test o( my strength, willpower, mind and emotional stability comes along 

You'll be (fine 

Pon t worry so much 

What {(my shoelace kicks that hurdle? 

And / (all (flat on my (ace? 

They 'II all look dow/i on me and say, 

"We thought you 'd be (fine. " 

"You Ye been (ine In the past " 

"What happened?" 

And then they II shake their heads and walk amy 

Leaving me on the unforgiving macadam, 

With skinned 'knees, a split lip, broken and dripping with sweat and salty tears 

But / won't be (Ine 

The sweat trickling lute my eyes burtis 

And/'m broken Inside 

That hurdle Just (loored me 

And/'m net (Ine 

/'U need a little help getting back up on my (cet again 

gravity can be so condescending 

And/'llneeda little more help to walk 

Bruises can be so Impaling 

And/'llneeda little com(ort to (Ixmy wounded ego 

Because /won t be (Ine 

/'U (all down sometimes 



Michelle Aieu/nann 

Photo by Kirstin Schumm 










IHhie Utonrajuk TlIBAIllL: 

Ob, Ymu IDon't IKnow Hack 

Jack was standing at 3300 Wisconsin Avenue mulling over a conversation 
he had just had with his friends, George and Stephanie Tenet. "Isn't it funny" 
George had opined mischievously, "that all operatives are guaranteed to have one 
of four names: Jack or Mike if male, Tracey or Cameron if female?" Steph had 
burst out in her characteristic giggle, mentally reviewing all the ops she had met, 
courtesy of their McLean address and her husband's myriad connections. Sure 
enough, none of them could resist the linguistic humor. They merely wondered if 
anyone else saw through the thin lexical disguise. Such seemingly innocuous 
monikers certainly proved easier on a body than spirit gum, Jack thought rueful- 
ly, rubbing his sore skin. He had pulled up at the Georgetown Holiday Inn, 
walked the requisite mile to Wisconsin and Macomb's political hotbed nightspot 
the Cactus Cantina, and waited somewhat impatiently for the arrival of Andrei 
Yuriev, the celebrated attache from Petrovsk. The spirit gum that held his ersatz 
'stache in place had alternately itched and burned, causing him to curse softly 
under his breath. "Forty-six years old, and it doesn't get any easier to keep up this 
ruse," he thought with a wry smirk, shaking his head at everyone's gullibility. To a 
person, they all had him pegged as a mild-mannered music professor specializing 
in Lutheran hymns, but he knew the truth. As for the others, they could think 
what they liked. Out of sheer habit he began humming a tune about bringing 
forth the royal diadem and crowning him lord of all when a commotion at the 
Cantina caught his eye. 

It was the irrepressible Karen insisting on patio seating. Jack waved to his 
colleague (a.k.a. Cameron) and entered the Cantina, an eatery that the President 
and First Lady had pronounced "the best Tex-Mex in town" — and they should 

Jack loved D.C., an endlessly fascinating town of museums and monu- 
ments, moguls and mayhem. He cherished the complex scent of the city: the 
whole amalgam of exotic ethnic foods; rain- washed cement, steel, and glass; 
freshly baked bread; leather; sweat; newspapers; coffee; urine; chlorine; cigars; 
brand-new souvenirs; car and bus exhaust; aromatic trees, bushes, and rich soil — 
an earthy, gritty odor of power, promise, and perseverance, of assignations, 
intrigue, and naked ambition. Hard to describe, really, but Washington had its 
own distinctive smell, for sure. 










Right now, of course, the fresh scent of the Cantina's scrumptious fare 
beckoned him, and he entered, removed his trench coat, and slid into a booth in 
eager anticipation of the delectable Paloma Platter. 

Just thenYuriev arrived and sat down opposite Jack. The two exchanged 
pleasantries, ordered their food and drinks, and got down to business. Business 
involved Lukoil, the brash new player in the area, and the details, although signif- 
icant, were not really essential. Jack had other business to conduct today, "stuff" 
to do when the time was right. As Yuriev presented the fine points of his informa- 
tion, Jack found himself thinking about purchasing for his school a theorbo, a 
nifty medieval lute featuring two sets of strings and an S-shaped neck with two 
sets of pegs.... He grinned. Maintain your cover long enough, and it anneals to 
your very soul. He was a music-man, through and through. Well, so be it. As a nun 
might say, sometimes you just get into the habit. 

Jack shook his head to intercept Yuriev's line of thought and muttered 
something about having a bit of a headache. "Must be the Cuervo," he said in dis- 
missal, and proceeded to respond thoughtfully to the attache's report. He had 
honed that ability, vital to administrators and operatives, of being doubly con- 
scious: A well-trained agent could pay close attention to the person and topic at 
hand, all the while considering issues of equal importance yet entirely unrelated 
to the current discussion. Karen also did that well, he thought with a smile. 

Perceiving the smile, Yuriev simply assumed that the tequila was working 
its magic and jovially ordered another round. Jack took a swallow of his Golden 
Margarita, brushed a stray tortilla chip from his dark t-shirt, and gave a luxurious 
stretch, sending his arm muscles rippling beautifully. Nearby women, tipsily 
glancing his way, noted the toned body and smiled appreciatively at him. Though 
married, he couldn't resist flashing a warm smile in return. 

Jack consumed his grilled quail with evident delight. Despite his fondness 
for good food, especially chocolate-topped vanilla cream donuts and Karen's 
magnificent brownies, Jack was in excellent shape. As much as he treasured tool- 
ing around in his dark green Discovery SE Land Rover, he welcomed the chance to 
bicycle down in St. Michael's, Maryland, and in D.C.'s own Rock Creek Park. It 
kept him trim and energized; that was his rationale. Indeed, everything in and 
near D.C. was done for a reason. The running joke was that the Tidal Basin existed 
for the express purpose of providing a training circuit for operatives. Animatedly 
speaking some obscure lingo like Restonese, the ops, disguised as typical tourists, 
would diligently complete the loop, underscoring their conversation by pointing 
excitedly to a famous landmark or to a tree branch bobbing in the water. If they 
tired of that game, they could always go underground, where a wondrously com- 
plex network of tunnels and "spiderholes" awaited, coursing through the city. At 






each half-mile point stood a cache of MREs, Meals Ready to Eat, some dating back 
to the '40s, yet still edible in the event of an emergency. Bunks, delousing kits, 
water, lanterns, toilets, barbells, weapons, everything stood ready, should the need 
arise. It was great fun scurrying about down there, with no-one above-ground 
any the wiser. Of course, Jack sometimes went abroad for physical training, too; 
Arnold Schwarzenegger maintained a fitness retreat in Austria, and Jack headed 
there frequently for conditioning, using his musical career as a pretext. 

Yuriev was just concluding a bawdy tale of mischief at the Kremlin, so Jack 
erupted into a boyish burst of laughter and hearty recommendations to get 
together again sometime soon. The attache took a final swallow, smacked his lips, 
and departed. Finishing his own margarita, Jack donned his beige trench coat and 
stood up, thrusting a wad of bills at his waiter and telling him to keep the change. 

He sprinted down the stairs to the men's restroom, artfully dodging two 
giddy women coming from the other room, humming "Tequila" between hysteri- 
cal peals of mirth. Jack patted his pockets. Yep, two "piccolos." Piccolos were trim 
little documents, rolled up like pirouline wafers. All the necessary intel was on 
them. The plan was simple: Enter the room, give Nigel the requisite pic, and 
skedaddle. That's what he planned to do. 

Life had plans of its own. As Jack nonchalantly entered the restroom look- 
ing for his British counterpart, he was forcibly grabbed and slammed into a sink, 
then whipped about to face his attacker. A huge, swarthy thug in a tight black t- 
shirt, his tattooed biceps bulging, hissed, "'Kay, pal, what's the frequency?" 

"Pardon me?" Jack replied softly, affecting an innocent demeanor. 

"Where-are-the-goods?" the thug demanded, punctuating his words by 
jabbing a fleshy finger into Jack's taut chest. 

Slowly Jack reached into his coat pocket and handed the thug a pic. As the 
muscleman looked down to thrust the paper tube into his t-shirt's inside pocket, 
Jack's lightning reflexes went into overdrive. Summoning all his strength, he 
shoved the shocked man across the room and into a row of urinals. As the villain 
bent over in pain, his bruised kidneys throbbing, Jack grabbed him by his hair 
and pummeled him backwards into the sinks. His sinewy arms rained blow after 
blow upon the unfortunate "tango." Not for nothing did Jack conduct bands. He 
valued musical conducting for its cardio-vascular and musculo-skeletal benefits. 
All those allegros, prestos, and sforzandos had kept his upper body wickedly 
toned. Just now, Jack was conducting Stravinsky's L'Histoire du Soldat upon his 
nemesis. It felt so good, for Jack at least. 

As his opponent blacked out, a profoundly surprised expression drained 
from his face. Hoisting the unconscious man onto his shoulders, Jack nimbly 
tossed him into the trash bin. Displaced paper flew into the air and executed 






graceful arabesques before settling down. Ever neat, the agent scooped up the 
trash and tossed it atop the goon. From his trench coat pocket he extracted a flask 
of alcohol and poured it liberally upon the face of the oblivious miscreant. 

Now, one problem remained: Where was Nigel? His eyes darting to the 
stalls, Jack discovered the whereabouts of his contact: During the altercation with 
the Arab thug, one stall door had remained suspiciously closed. Jack rushed over 
and jimmied the stall open. In his line of work, one quickly gained the knack of 
unlocking doors. Inside lay Nigel, gagged and duct-taped, his body straddling the 
toilet awkwardly. 

Rapidly Jack withdrew his X-acto knife and made short work of the 
restraints. Softly he sang the refrain from the World War Two era song, "Duck And 
Cover," only he changed it to "Duct and Cover." Nigel's eyes simultaneously 
expressed relief and amusement. That was Jack, alright. 

Grinning back, the agent gently removed the gag from his cohort's mouth, 
helped him to his feet, and was about to say something clever when the door to 
the men's room opened. Jack grabbed a piece of tape and secured the stall door. 
Silently he and Nigel stepped up onto the rim of the toilet bowl, hunched down, 
and placed their hands on the walls for support. 

The individual quickly spotted the unconscious and reeking goon sprawled in 
the garbage can and commented, "Woo-hoo! Tough night, bud?" and then went 
to a urinal, did his business, and left. 

Breathing sighs of relief, Jack and his British accomplice tore off the duct- 
tape and emerged from the stall. Both looked disheveled but high-spirited. From 
a coat pocket, Jack removed the correct piccolo. Agents always carried a real doc- 
ument and a fake. The sad sap lying in the trash bin had the pic containing biog- 
raphical details about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, for all the good that'd do him. 
The guy was toast, Jack thought with a grin. He'd return to his station without 
the right info and.... Oh, well. It was not for Jack to worry about. 

He gave Nigel the correct pic and immediately Nigel left. In the trash bin, 
Jack's attacker was beginning to stir. Spurred by a fit of impishness, Jack whipped 
out his trusty spirit gum, poured it generously onto the thug's body, and, grab- 
bing some paper towels, gently patted him down, activating the tacky goo and 
pressing him even more securely into the garbage, so that his body looked like a 
demented taco. "What a sticky mess you're in, kiddo," he exclaimed gleefully. 
"Oh, and one more thing," he murmured, leaning intimately close to the bin: 

I once knew a conductor who was performing at a gig in Philly. The place 

was full, the crowd was eager, the anticipation mounting. Out he strode 

onto the stage, introduced himself and the score, waited for the applause 









to subside, and then began his work. Just then, wouldn't y'know, the skies 
let loose — I mean, pouring buckets! The whole auditorium reverberated, 
as thunder chased the lightning. The lights flickered, browned, then 
returned full-strength, and so it continued for a half-a-dozen minutes 
more. A cadence of crashes ensued. Everyone was understandably con 
cerned for their safety. Suddenly with an enormous boom, the ceiling split 
open and a bolt shot down, right where the maestro was standing! Oh, 
don't worry — he wasn't hurt. You see, he was a poor conductor. 

Speeding to the mirror and running a comb through his tousled hair, Jack 
left the room a moment later, just as three young men were coming in. They took 
no particular notice of him, which was just as he wanted it. 

He bolted up the stairs and into the main room, where people were dis- 
cussing why Joe Lieberman always sounded upset and ready to cry. In one of the 
side rooms, people were analyzing Condi's sartorial splendor and asking whether 
beautifully tailored suits were a true prerequisite for a position as Secretary of 
State. Ah, yes: Business as usual at the Cantina. If anyone wondered why a pleas- 
ant-looking man in a beige trench coat had stayed in the men's room so long, 
they weren't letting on. 

Covert operations were great fun, thought Jack happily. Sure, they were 
dangerous, sure, they were sometimes a very real pain in the solar plexus, but for 
sheer high-stakes adventure, the life of an agent couldn't be beaten. 

As Jack prepared to leave, he requested a bag of the Cantina 's tortilla chips 
to go. He opened the door and emerged into the sweet slanting sunlight of an 
early D.C. evening. As usual, a flock of tree sparrows awaited at Wisconsin and 
Macomb. They knew a good treat when they saw it. Jack tossed a handful to the 
sidewalk for them to feast on. An act of kindness? Sure, but it was also a signal to 
the person across the street, leaning against a building, reading a section of the 
Post. Almost imperceptibly, the man nodded, folded his paper, and crossed the 
street to accept a handshake. "Hey, how's life in the fast lane?" Jack asked playful- 


To anyone passing by or savoring a meal on the Cantina's patio, it looked 
like a simple greeting of two good friends, nothing more. But nothing is as it 
seems in Spy City. Karen perceived the signal from her colleague and prepared to 
depart on an adventure of her own. 

Dr. Karen Schramm 



That Corner 

See me standing there 

Looking stranded and lost 

Pay such a pricey cost 

Tor just waiting on that corner 

Hoping you'll come around and say hi 

For just waiting on that corner 

Watching my life pass me by. 

See those shiny tears upon my (ace 

Look at how I laugh when I want to cry 

Why do the days go on at such a slow pace 

Promised you would never say goodbye 

For just waiting on that corner 

Moping you'll stop telling me lies 

For just waiting on that corner 

Listening as my heart slowly dies 

See me there lying down 

Look at me and my clenched fists 

Always was lost and never was found 

Not so sure anymore if it's you I miss 


For just waiting on that corner 

Hoping we II be alright 
For just waiting on that corner 

See my skin get red as (ire 

Look at all our reams tall and shatter 

Waiting (or my body to actually get tired 

Seems like nothing anymore matters 

For just waiting on that corner 

What am I waiting (or? 

For just waiting on that corner 

Won't see me on that corner no more. 0., 









































am gtwu; 
> okue, teMio£c5 fcefoui. 
Engaged in fauedeM {EadWwg tf 
' togelket and ncLi 

u^Cv, llUi. 


4(HW iCCC^Hlze, 

eack oUceita' g(!mwwg golden pike 
By Cto Tip} 

"Out with the Old, In with the New" 

Out with the old, In with the new 

Toss that man like a worn out shoe 

With his dirty laces and his no shine 

With that man I wouldn't waste my time. 

Out with the old, In with the new 

That man smells like dried out glue 

He has no job and owns no home 

I would be better off on my own. 

Out with the old, In with the new 

Isn't that what the last one put me through? 

Hiding his secrets with lies and excuses 

I don't know whom he thought that would amuse. 

Out with the old, In with the new 


What is this one trying to do? 

He probably still lives with his momma 

Sorry, but I don't deal with that drama. 

Out with the old, In with the new 

Look at that cute one hanging with his crew 

Bet he's cocky and thinks he's too cool 
Those types an hard at following my rules. 

Out with the old, In with the new 

Augghh! His breath smells of rotten stew 

Talk about taking a personal hygiene test 

Take a few of these mints and save the rest. 

Out with the old, In with the new 

Finally I see a good one out of the few 

Let me give him a wink and a little smile 

I think this new one might be worth m\^ while. 

Zakia Clements 



(Seasoned CMea 

£TAe AzlgAl eotozed leaves fall today. 

ffeazs fzom tiees, weeping Jot IA& tosl. 

£TA& red of Stood, IA& orange and Atown of Aandage. 

£/Aeg galAev togelA&t, eamzing IA& ezies and moans 

lAal ee/w lAzoagA tows of wAife mazAto stone>s. 

f/n sammez Aeal, andev Azave Alu& s/Ues, 

IA& gtassg Aills lam a lavender dew. 

cMea toe gasping, AzolA&z agalnsl AzolAez, 

maeA deaiA eom&s, stow and mowznful. 

CfAe Izees sAad& a/l and yeazlg give Izeasuze 
{Jo lAose wAo gave lA&iz laslfall measwte. 

Jflml cM&&e& 

A Breeze Blows 

A breeze blows, a single red leaf is carried aloft. 

Why, out of the thousands of leaves lying around, was this singular leaf 

carried away on the breeze? 

Is it because it was more deserving than the others? 

Had it been more grateful and gratuitous during its life? 


A breeze blows, a single red leaf is carried aloft. 

Why can't this leaf escape from its prison? 

Why is it simply tossed about, never being allowed to wander outside its 


Had it caused grief and pain during its life? 


A breeze blows, a single red leaf is picked up by a passerby. 

Why must this leaf go from one prison to another? 

For what reason is it not allowed to die in peace? 

Must it undergo some great physical test to prove its worthiness in order 

for it to enter its rightful resting place? 


A breeze blows, a single soul passes out of existence. 

Why, out of the billions of souls around the world, must this soul die? 

Is it because it was needed by some greater entity? 

Is it an act of mercy sparing it from a miserable existence? 



A breeze blows, a single old man sits on a bench wondering where his life 

has gone. "Why hadn't I traveled more? Why didn't I love more? How did 

I let my life turn out this way?" 

He remembers all his mistakes and ponders his regrets. 

He doesn't think of all of the good things that his life has offered. 


A breeze blows, a single old lady sits in her chair staring distantly out the 

She smiles, remembering her first and only love, and then cries, remember- 
ing his passing. She then becomes filled with warmth, joy, and happiness 
remembering the birth of her children and the love they gave each other. 
And then her heart aches, wondering why they've left her in this place and 
never call anymore. 

A breeze blows, a single red leaf is carried aloft. 

Caught, alone, by the relentless wind, turned and whirled about. 

Never allowed to stop and rest, never allowed to set foot upon the earth. 

Destined to wander the vast world alone, forever without a soul mate, 

someone to call its own. 


John A. Knouse 

Photo by Ale. ris Hitter 



'1/ -d. uJtAs&misd c-iyiJ^Uytk^ A 

' tfeVtTs 

4?UV tf£4te0F~7i*&tfte>. 

^itw; ^.^ 


' tfiVtl/ 

~Cu^ hA 

Pis w^&H 

"The True Story of Humpty Dumpty' 

It was on a beautiful Sunday morning in Old King Cole's castle that our story begins. Old 
King Cole always requests a cheese and pumpkin omelet, two feet in diameter, for his Sunday 
breakfast. His faithful cook, Ferdinand, always prepares the fattening breakfast for his plump 
king with the finest of the eggs that the kingdom's chickens can provide. This morning he 
found a particularly large, white egg waiting patiently in the chicken house. 

"Why, this egg is fit for a king!" chuckled the cook as he gathered his cooking materials. 
First he put out all of his cooking utensils and then set to work on cracking the eggs for the 
omelet. As he got closer to cracking the large white egg he heard a dim voice. 
"Now what could that be? The maids are all out preparing the table and I am the only cook 
awake at this hour." Ferdinand wondered. "Oh well, it must be my imagination!" 
"Please sir, let me go. What did I ever do to you that you want to break me all apart and eat 
my yolk?" the little voice said. 

"There it is again! I must have been out in the heat too long yesterday because I swear I just 
heard that large egg talk!" the startled cook exclaimed. 

"HELLO!!!! Can't you hear me?? Let me go! That frying pan is so hot! How would you like 
it if I were to fry you up at this early hour?" the voice exclaimed. 

Just then the cook picked up the large white 
egg to find that it had grown two blue eyes, a 
nose, two feet, two legs, and a very loud 
mouth. Startled at this freakish sight, the cook 
almost dropped the talking egg onto the stone 

"Hey! Watch it, buddy! I am not made out 
of rubber, you know! Just put me down nice 
and easy and I won't bite your pudgy finger," 
the loud egg demanded. 


Slowly, and as carefully as possible, the cook placed the egg-boy on a washcloth. The egg 
started to stand on wobbling feet and began brushing his gleaming, white shell off from the 
cook's greasy fingers. He then walked unsteadily over to the stunned cook and stuck out his 
pencil-thin arm. 

"The names Humpty-Dumpty! Nice to meet you," the egg said. 

u Umm, Hi. I, my name is Ferdinand." The cook stuttered and stuck out a finger that the egg 
took in his tiny hand and shook. 

The two stood, staring at each other for a few minutes in disbelief until HurnptyDumpty 

"Well, I really must be off on my quest now. You know that you woke me up from a very 
peaceful sleep that I was having. I always try to stay in a hen house so no one will find my 
unusual presence out of the ordinary." 

The cook remained in his stooped-over, jaw-dropped position for a few more seconds and 
then blinked back to reality. 

"Oh, yes. How interesting," he said dreamily. 

Just then Old King Cole, who was a very merry old soul, came ambling into the kitchen. He 
still had on his large red robes and was fiddling with his golden crown on his head. 

"Why, good morning, Ferdinand! How is my cheese and pumpkin omelet coming along? I 

have been so hungry despite the fact that I ate that 
whole turkey at the feast last night." 

With that the King let out a loud guffaw, which 
shook the pots and pans hanging from the ceiling. 
This startled the cook back to attention and he quick- 
ly turned to face the king and made a polite bow 
towards him. 

"Oh. YYYess Sir. Sorry Sir, I have been having 
trouble with the oven. It seems to have broken from 
that feast last night," the cook lied. 

However, the King was not listening and instead 
was focused on the large white egg on the counter. 

Saliva glistened on his plump lips and his eyes widened to twice their original size. A low rum- 
ble became audible in the Kings stomach. 

"Ferdinand! What a marvelous egg that you have found for me this morning! I cannot wait 
to sink my teeth into that juicy little fellow!" 

At that a small yelp was heard from the direction of Humpty Dumpty. And the cook quickly 
turned and threw a towel over the egg to hide it from the Kings view. 

"Oh, yes, sir, that egg is quite marvelous. I will make sure that it is properly seasoned and 
prepared for your unique palate. I will put the pumpkin, Swiss cheese, and little bit of licorice 
on it. Just like you love it!" the cook exclaimed as he gently turned the king and pushed him 
out the kitchen door into the great dining hall. 

Slowly the King was able to tear his hunger-crazed eyes from the large egg and he returned 
to the dining hall, where he proceeded to munch on leftover steak bones and potatoes, which 
he saved, from the previous nights feast. 

"Whew. That was a close one! I thought for a second there that 1 was going to be swallowed 
egg-shell and all!" Humpty-Dumpty whispered. 

"What am I to do? I cannot deny the King's 
wishes but I also cannot deny my heart and throw 
a true freak of nature like you into my frying pan!" 
Ferdinand cried. 

"Hey, watch it with the 'freak' part. I can't help 
it that my mother was the goose that laid magical 
golden eggs. All my brothers and sisters were a 
beautiful golden color and didn't have all these 
human-like features as I do. They were just golden 
and normal. I am doomed forever to walk the 
Earth looking like a shrunken human-boy with a 
bad shape. All that I ever wanted was to be a real 
boy. One who could run with long legs, not stubby 
ones like mine! Or have a real face with flesh and 
bone, not slimy yellow goo. I just want to have a 

'"Sfc &■£- '^ft^i'X 


body that humans won't want to fry up every time they see me!" poor Humpty cried. 

"There, there. I won't fry you. I want to help you. I know that one of the maids here at the 
kingdom is a little bit of a 'witch' and she may be able to help you!" the caring cook said 

With that Ferdinand gently wrapped the egg in a towel and proceeded to search for the 
maid named Helga. Helga was a descendent from the long line of witches reaching back to the 
time of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. However, Helga had vowed never to poison an 
apple or a comb as her great-great grandmother had done. Instead she practiced her magic on 
the king. When he wanted to look handsome for a ball or a feast she made those extra pounds 
melt away, literally with just a wave of a wand and a few magic words. 

"Helga! You must help me! I have someone who needs a transformation!" Ferdinand called 
after Helga as she tittered about in the main hall of the castle preparing for another ball for the 

"I am so busy right now, Ferdi. I must make the King one hundred pounds lighter by 
tonight or I don't think he will fit into his suit!" the busy Helga exclaimed. 

"But look, Helga! This poor, helpless egg wants to be a little boy before the king eats him 
for breakfast!" Ferdinand insisted. 

"Excuse me? I heard an egg wants to be a boy? Have you been eating those magical muffins 
the king hides in his dresser again?" Helga inquired. 

Getting annoyed, the cook displayed Humpty Dumpty, who shivered with fright and dared 

not open his eyes to look at the witch. 

"My, my! I haven't seen one in years. Where ever did you find 
him? Oh, he is just the cutest little thing!" Helga cooed and 
gently picked Humpty up in her long fingers. 
"Will you help me?" Humpty pleaded with tear-glistened eyes 
"I just want to be a real boy and I might be eaten if I don't 
become one very soon!" 

"I might have the right potion to help you but you have to 
promise not to let the 


king see you in this state because he will gobble you up," Helga warned. 

With that Helga pulled out a large square suitcase, which contained hundreds of jars of 
ingredients for potion making. There were pig's feet, lizard tails, slugs and more, all waiting to 
be tossed into the perfect potion. 

As Helga set to work putting her ingredients into a large black kettle, she sang a little tune. 
"The tail of a quail 

And fluke of a whale, 

A little bit of slug-slime, 

Will make you feel fine. 

Mix them in to boil, 

Watch the snakeskin coil. 

Add some ear of pig, 

And a touch of rotten fig. 

Rise smoke and foul smell, 

To complete this human spell." 

The ingredients were beginning to mix and juice up. They turned a dark, pea- green color 
and set off a putrid smell. Ferdinand and Humpty-Dumpty sat watching the witch working 
with a disgusted expression on their faces. 

"If she wants me to drink that stuff, I am outta here!" Humpty exclaimed as he watched a 
large green bubble rise to the top of the stew and pop, sending an oily film across the room. 

"Now, the potion will be complete with a pinch 
of my grandmothers special spice: Cod eyeball and , ^^ j^SktJiHS^^Si 
ground onion!" Helga said as she emptied a packet 
of tan substance into the potion. 

"The time has come for you, little egg. If your 
true wish is to be a human boy, you must jump into 
this potion and you will emerge renewed," Helga 
informed him. 

"Hold on! Do I have 'Gullible' written on my 


forehead? I know what happens to eggs when they jump into a boiling pot of liquid, they 
come out dead!" Humpty protested. 

"This potion is different. You will not even feel hot because this potion is magical, remem- 
ber. I promise that it won't hurt you at all," Helga insisted. "Unless, you aren't as set on becom- 
ing a human as I thought you were." 

Humpty stared at Helga hard. He fixed his eyes on the witch, then on the boiling pot. He 
wasn't able to decide whether to trust a witch or his instinct as an egg. Then he thought of 
how lovely it was going to be to have real legs and arms and a real body and he nodded his 

"Alright. I will do it. But if 1 get boiled alive iri that pot I will never speak to you again!" he 
exclaimed and allowed himself to be placed gently into the liquid. 

Surprisingly, he didn't feel a thing. It felt like he was swimming in a lukewarm pool. There 
was no intense burning feelings or pain as he expected. He laughed out loud and started to do 
the backstroke. 

"Hey, this isn't so bad after all! So, how long do I stay in here?" he asked. 
"Only a few more seconds and then you will shed that shell and be a real boy," Helga told 
him as she cleaned up her potion supplies and put them into her suitcase. 

Humpty continued to swim around and began to feel all tingly His eyes moved more easily 

and his fingers and toes grew larger. He was 
beginning to feel a real change just as he heard 
loud footsteps and the creak of the door. 

"There you are! I have been waiting for my 
pumpkin and cheese omelet for over twenty 
minutes and I had to eat the dinner platter for 
tonight's feast to satisfy my appetite," King Cole 
chuckled guiltily. 

Suddenly he spotted Humpty floating in the 
boiling potion. His eyes grew large and he sali- 
vated. His hands started to reach out and a smile 



became visible on his plump lips. Humpty had his back to the king and didn't realize what was 
stalking him. 

"I see you have made this lovely egg soup for me out of that enormous egg from this morn- 
ing. How absolutely divine of you! I will eat it right now. I do not mind if it is undercooked, " 
the king said and moved closer to the pot. He reached his pudgy fingers out and got closer to 
plucking Humpty out of the water. 

"HELP!" cried Humptv and Ferdinand picked him up before the king reached him and 
rolled him gently out the door. 

The king followed faithfully, thinking that this was part of the egg-eating ritual. He ran in a 
stooped position after Humpty, whose legs had grown stronger and longer in the potion. 
Humpty ran quickly over the grass in the courtyard and towards the gate wall. 

The king began to get angry at this fast-food business and called for his guards to chase 
his breakfast. 

"Guards! Follow that egg! I am famished and I cannot run anymore!" the king bellowed. 
His men rode upon horseback after the egg. Humpty Dumpty gasped for air as he 
reached the eight-foot gate wall. He took a brave leap and landed unsteadily on the top of it. 
The King's men screeched their horses to a halt and planned what to do next. They didn't want 
the egg to fall and splatter because the king would certainly kill them if they ruined his break- 
fast. So they devised a plan to have two men on each side of the wall and catch him when he 

"Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall, 
While the Kings men waited for him to fall. 
He grew faint from his run, 
And his legs felt like they weighed a ton. 
He then dropped off the side of the wall, 
And had a great fall. 

All the King's horses and all the King's men, 
Couldn't put the poor, cracked Humpty back together again." 
Fearing their future deaths for having ruined the King's breakfast ^ 


egg, the men turned their horses and ran away from the smashed egg. 

Just then a strange thing happened. Humpty Dumpty wasn't smashed at all! Instead his 
old eggshell had just broken away to reveal the new body of a ten-year-old boy who had 
bright, blue eyes and long legs and arms. 

"I'm a real boy! The potion worked! I'm a real boy!" Humpty exclaimed and jumped for 
joy on his new legs. 

"Hey kid, that was pretty brave how you scared away all of the king's men like that," a 
strange, green-clad man told Humpty. "What's your name? I have been trying to get rid of 
those guys for many years and you did it so easily." 

"My name is Humpty-Dumpty! Nice to meet you, Mr. Uh, What's your name?" 

"I am Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest. How would you like to join my band of brothers to 
steal from the rich and give to the poor?" Robin inquired as he offered a hand to Humpty. 

"That sounds fantastic, Sir! I would love to get back at that mean old King Cole. He tried 
to eat me, you know," Humpty said as he walked next to Robin towards the woods. 

"That's perfect, son. We need someone who knows the inside of the castle like you do 
working for us. But we need to come up with a better name than Humpty-Dumpty for you," 
Robin observed and Humpty nodded. 

"How about John? I always liked that name. It is so strong and honest," Robin asked. 

"Yes. I like that. John sounds like a great name. Thank you, Robin! I have wanted to get rid 
of my name for so long!" Humpty Dumpty told him. 

"Well, you will be John. And since you are still small, I will call you my "Little John." Robin 

With that the two new friends walked onto Sherwood Forest where they would make histo- 
ry of their own. 


Becky Rebmann 


6>Hcounie,v h)iih a Desgon 

\ have been a researches' and photographer of grizzly bears, for about four years now, - and \ 
aw ranked among the best in fhe world when ii cowes ~to photography of bears in ihe wild. My 
efforts contribute to the cause of conservation and education about these majestic animals and 
their pristine environments. Tor me, the most fascinating aspect of grizzly behavior occurs at the 
annual salmon runs, when all bears in the area temporarily abandon their solitary lifestyles and 
gather at the rivers and creeks. The bears are there to feast on the legions ofsalwwn swimming to 
their breeding grounds in an attempt to build up fat reserves for the winter. 

&very year, \ go to the same location to observe, document, and photograph the grizzly bears as 
well as other wildlife attending the salmon runs. My latest expedition, however, led to an extreme 
encounter that has forever changed my life and career. 

As usual, 1 was traveling to my destination alone. I knew that traveling alone in such an area 
was generally seen as a bad idea by most people, but \ was very confident, as I was an outdoorsman 
with impeccable survival skills. \ have hiked in this terrain for over four years, and \ knew the area 
like the back of my hand. J traveled lightly, carrying only the barest of necessities for my trip: my 
notebook and pen, a couple of 'Power 'Ears for energy, and my trusty camera, custom fitted with a 
clip to attach to my belt. 

As I neared the river, \ began to sense that something was amiss, heard no splashing, no growls- 
-not even a bald eagle, could be seen flying above the river. \ began to worry: what if there were 
poachers in the area? Suddenly, \ remembered a few locals warning me about a giant lizard being in 
the area, but quickly dismissed the thought. J had shrugged the warning off as some kind of folk 
tale.. \ knew for a fact that there were no large reptiles indigenous to this part of the world: its 
cool in these parts, and even if the contrary were true, no living lizard, not even the komodo drag- 
on, would ever grow large enough to threaten a fill grown, half-ton bear. 

\ passed through a dense thicket of trees, which was my little, secret path that would take me 
right to the waters edge. "Finally there, \ scanned my surroundings. As suspected, the entire are& 
was derelict of life except for the scores of salmon and the insects. Not a single, bear was to be 
seen, which was extremely unusual because this area always attracted the most bears, as the 
water was quite shallow, making it easy to catch the large, fish. Unable, to believe my own eyes, ! 
looked around one last time. And that s when J saw it 

1 had missed it entirely until it moved, but because of its large size, ! was amazed that I had 
missed it at all. On top of that, the creature was no more than one hundred feet away. The. crea- 
ture may have, appeared to the casual observer as a huge, lizard, but this thing sure as hell was no 
lizard, lust from seeing the two horns protruding from the back of its head and the two well 
developed, bat-like wings folded at its sides, J immediately knew that this was a dragon J was look- 
ing at. 

The creature at which J gazed was be autifid beyond words, yet terrifying at the same time. 
Clad in shining gunmetal blue scales, the dragon stood as high as a horse, probably slightly higher, 


at the double- shoulders where the forelimbs and wings Joined the body. The long muscular neck 
added even wore height. Except for its obsidian hued horns, the dragon's body was devoid of any 
other ornamentation, giving It a very sleek appearance. Though lithe In form, the dragon was 
nonetheless well muscled: Its limbs were bulging with muscle, and lis long sinuous tall was undoubt- 
edly very powerful, knowing what large monitor lizards were capable of doing with their tails, one 
could only imagine the amount of power contained In the tail of the beast before me. I guessed the 
total length of the creature was well over thirty feet, possibly even forty. Torty feet was much 
smaller than most dragons described In mythology (this one was probably young) but was still easi- 
ly large enough to scare off any bear and possibly even large enough to prey on bears themselves, 
even If most of that forty feet was tail. 

LJet this dragon was not interested in bears, as It was here, striking at the salmon as Vve seen 
herons do with smaller fish. The dragon struck again at the water at lightning speed, and when It 
came back up, \ saw that It had a large salmon struggling In Its Jaws. I watched In fascination as the 
dragon tossed the fish Into the air, caught It by the head, and swallowed it without difficulty. As 
It lowered Its head for the ne\t catch, Its eyes fell \ upon me. 

My heart started racing, and \ prayed that this dragon dldni see humans as food, because If It 
did, there 'd be no chance of escaping that thing. 

K)hen It first saw me, the dragon was obviously surprised, as Its eyes widened slightly and It 
took half a step backwards. Quickly recovering from Its Initial shock, it tilted lis head in curiosity. 
&ven from this distance, \ could still sense a vast Intelligence in those eyes as they studied me. 
Then our eyes locked, and we stared at one another for what seemed like an eternity. My brain 
finally started working normally again, and I slowly reached for my camera. My fingers couldn't 
find the camera, so I had to glance down. h)hen I grabbed the camera and looked back up, the 
dragon was gone. 

ftJhere did It go? There was no trace of the dragon anywhere except a few ripples where it once 
stood. \t couldnt possibly have dived undenMater, the water wasn't even knee deep, and there was 
no sign of It In the air or on the opposite shore. Wow could something that big move that fast and 

"Disheartened, I turned to leave- and was face-to-snoui with the dragon, which had been 
standing right behind me. J involuntarily lei out a gasp at the speed of this creature, such speed 
thai should have been Impossible. \ looked down at the dragons forefeet and lis large curved talons, 
talons thai could cut me In two with a flick if It wished to do so. Teverlshly, J looked up at the 
creature 's Jaw, Jaws that were undoubtedly very powerful. Although lis mouth was closed, J knew it 
concealed sharp cutting fangs. hJlth such teeth, coupled with the powerful Jaws, the dragon was 
perfectly capable of obliterating my entire head with a single snap. 

yinally, \ shifted my gaze to the eyes of the creature thai was about to end my life. My fears 
of getting savagely killed, however, vanished once \ locked eyes with the dragon. \ would never for- 
get those Tight gray cat-silt eyes for the rest of my life. Those silvery orbs held a vast Intelligence 
within them, perhaps greater than my own. \ realized that this creature did not wish to harm me, 
but was simply curious: \ was probably the first human being It had ever closely encountered. J was 
now Intensely curious, and being a biologist only heightened my fascination with this Impressive 


The dragon made the first move, its horned head waking down to inquisitively sniff my face. I 
felt a slight suction pull at My cheek as this powerful beast investigated tnc, its sharp, deep inhala- 
tions breaking the silence of the moment. 

Tentatively, I reached out a hand to peri the creature on the head. Sensing my intentions, the 
dragon lowered its head to give we better access. Jvhen my hand finally touched its skin, I found 
the feeling of its scales unique: the best description I could come up with was that it was like 
touching a hybrid of metal and crocodilian leather. The skin was very warwi to the touch, and when 
I started to rub the area behind its ear opening, the dragon be-gan to purr like some gigantic cat: 
The creature obviously enjoyed this contact. 

Now comfortable- in the dragons presence, I didn't even flinch as its huge foreclaw moved up to 
grasp my arm. As this clearly sentient being investigated my arm, lifting it up and prodding and 
sniffing it, I scrutinized its forepaw. Us forefoot was truly amazing and alien: \t was distantly sim- 
ilar yet totally different from my own hand. It possessed four digits, with the outer two having the 
appearance and function of double, thumbs. The underside of the clawed hand was covered in spiny 
scales or spicules, remarkably similar to the feet of bald eagles and other fish-eating raptors. The 
claw gripping my arm was undoubtedly an efficient instrument of death, yet it handled my fragile 
limb with such dexterity and gentleness that I did not feel even the slightest discomfort. 

I then remembered my camera and wanted desperately to take photos of this magnificent, 
intelligent creature. As if it read my mind, the dragon stepped back a few feet, sat on its haunches, 
and shifted its silvery gaze toward my camera. This immediately prompted me to unclip the camera 
from my belt, load it with fresh film, and aim it at my target. The dragon nodded, then puffed out 
its chest, raised its head, and spread its wings in a most regal pose. 

Adjusting myself in order to fully fit the dragon into the picture, I pressed the shutter, forget- 
ting to turn off the fash. The resulting flash startled the creature, causing it to finch back in 
surprise and to shake off the disorientation caused by the fash. It looked at me quest Honing ly, but 
resumed its pose when it realized I intended no harm. 

I silently apologized as I switched off the flash, sighing in relief. I was lucky in more ways than 
one: with any other large potentially dangerous animal, my negligence would have either scared the 
animal off, or the flash could have triggered an aggressive response with potentially grim conse- 
quences for me. 

Tortunately, the rest of the photo shoot went very well. The dragon even allowed me to gerf 
close-up shots of its fangs and talons without hesitation. I continued to shoot until I ran out of 
film. The dragon seemed to enjoy the entire session, actively posing and showing off for the cam- 

The dragon moved to the waters edge after the photo shoot, passing by me on the way. Once at 
the waters edge, the beast turned to face me, and I felt a strange presence in my mind. It didnt 
surprise me too much when I realized that the dragon was communicating with me telepathically. It 
was like words and images were being projected into my head, and I understood everything clearly. 

It, no, he told me that there were others of his kind existing on this world, but they kept very 


low profiles because they risked hostility If they revealed themselves to the humans. We knew all 
about human myths of dragons, especially the ones that portrayed them as evil and bloodthirsty 
monsters, and therefore was filly aware of what would happen If humans realized dragons truly 
existed: human ignorance and fears would escalate into hatred and violence against dragons. 
Oragon hunts would commence, and some of the smaller younger dragons such as himself would be 
tortured, experimented on, and killed if they were caught. The dragon then informed me that such 
actions would provoke the wrath of his immensely powerful elders, all of whom were well over two 
hundred feet in length, according to the images in my head. ftJar would follow, and would result in 
high casualties on both sides, but the humans would suffer infinitely worse than the dragons 
would. In addition to humans and dragons, countless plants and animals would be caught in the 

The dragon explained that he sensed that 1 was different fom most other humans, for he could 
in fact read minds. Judging f-om the emotions sent to me, the dragon was as wary and curious as \ 
was, especially since he was caught off guard. ~B,ut he soon learned that \ was trustworthy. Me 
wished for humans and dragons to coexist peacefully and wanted me to show the photos \ took to 
the public as a first contact. The dragon then admitted that he greatly enjoyed his first encounter 
with a human, and \ told him likewise. 

After politely displaying to me the draco nian equivalent of a bow, the dragon crouched low and 
used his powerful hind legs to launch himself into the air, unfurling his massive wings. After hover- 
ing for a second, he took off at astonishing speed that should have been impossible for an animal his 
size. hJithin seconds, he was completely out of sight. I stared at the sky dumbfounded until \ 
regained my senses and decided to call it a day and go back to the inn. 

About a year has passed since that first encounter. I had written an article and submitted it 
along with the photos to "National (Geographic Magazine. My experience gained me a lot of publicity: 
\ was constantly interviewed by other magazines and even by television shows. Some thought my 
encounter was a hoax, even with the photos, while others immediately took an avid interest in 
dragons. Some had even begun to support my cause of introducing dragons and humans to each 
other. Needless to say, all the publicity has made me rich enough to put my children through school 
without difficulty. That is, if J had theml The best thing is that my efforts to unite humans and 
dragons peacefully are going much better than \ had hoped. 

As for that dragon \ met, \ haven t seen or heard from him since that time, although \ hope that 
we will meet again someday. &ven meeting a different dragon would be great. 'Perhaps if dragons 
and humans were to finally live side by side within my lifetime, that hope will come true. 

Loren Oarnet-Lewis 


Lor** (r*r»^~ l <»< 


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I fifllhzzle ifou fifth fttif brfllfmee 

And ifou Mil remember. 

3$rbmMurpkf tfrfmee 



any, god... 

pteaAe a/iow me the way... 

tfam toAt.. 

in the AhadowA... 

the deep i& puMng me farther and farther from the tight. 

the darker iti&the more Sftike what SfAee... 

pteaAe gwe meAomehint that you care at a£.. 

euenJuAt a tittte... 

thi&tamb i& mlMing from the ftock... 

the Atruggfle i& getting harder... 

Sfam toAing the fight..Jbut not defeated.. 

SfAtMkeepAome hope aiive... 

but without any kindiing my Apark wi&go out.. 

tight my path or £? become part of the Ahadow... 

the thingA Sconce de&piAed are becoming my future... 

Sfam fighting it teAA and teAA.... 
Ahow me your truth or Sfw'Mbe&eve it iAaMa tie... 
Sf need a Aign... 
but until then Slam 


Photo by Lindsay Cropper 



A Loner's Soul 

I've actually been inside your mind, 
an ordeal I almost didn't survive, 
Never predicted one knock on your door 
would take me on my life's wildest ride. 

Never thought that was a magic mirror. 
Never thought it would show me such terror. ' \ 
I wanted answers but never this way. 
Note to self: be careful what you wish for. 

Those frozen eyes you glare through every day; 
that glance of stone that, any prying, slays; 
those ears, dead and deaf, to all questions asked: 
burying your secrets here, where they stay. 

And no one will know how weary a task 
it is to wear your serene, stoic mask. 
Now, the truth shatters your steadfast pretense. 
How long did you think your facade would last? 

Today a demon broke through your defense. 
Today I saw you fight, cry, smile, vent; 
beaten, defeated, ready to resign; 
a power that, all my knowledge, transcends. 




Now, I understand what secrets you hide. 
Now I know what shiver goes up your spine 
whenever someone asks, "What is with her?" 
ever since I have been inside your mind. 

Jill Geisler 

■ Hi 



Art by Kirstin Schumm 



/. *■■ 



I 4 ^\SAW 



fj/ie zuo/fz/zozv/j Jzom c/eep zezlnln 

cm t/ie an^ezfom ozzz mot/iez eczzt/z 

6ec/znj to jzzzz/e zip t/izozzzy/z /zez pczzex 

37ie t/izz/ic/ezozzj jozznc/ ee/ioej czzozz/id t/ie empty wooc/j 

aj tAe c/zopj of czn Innocent j 6/ood jeep Into t/ie c/zz/ jozY. 

£/7ze wozld zepfoj, cz /one/ ana* /o/ie/z/ /zozvl, 

t/ie jozzozz'j of cz t/zozzjcznc/ cz/zeczc/z/ /ojt... 

97ien it 6ez/z/u to zczin... 

tftcztie (Sz'eA/e) 


Art by John Knouse 

SP/ii/ia ia t/ie jimp/e /oie o/^ienda 

t/iat dzinaj onA/joy, no AieeiitSieeiA, no teau; 

a// t/ic fan uit/iout t/ie eie/ienedine; 

pine /oie uit/i no Aoimonej to intez/eie. 

(Sioj a t/iat iii/d, zomeintie /oie 

tAat meiAej me injane, jite/Aiiened, andj'ea/oiu; 

in/ecti my mind, jtopj my Aeait jtiu me/ 6/ooe/; 

too intense \fo >i Juene/j/iip, too puiejoi /tot. 

(¥A/ape, t/iat unconditional /oie: 

patient, un6ieeiAa6/e, etedaitine/. 

C/A/ape, t/ie Aie//iejt /oie meant Jo z ia; 

ed/ pouez/id etezna/, un/ai/ine/. 

^Beaonc/ &iiene/j/iip 01 Romance, t/ib ue cei// 
Q/Ai/ape, t/ie i/ieate)t /oie o/ ed/. 

Jfi// ^ea/ei 


Ulho's In? Ulho's Out? 

Qlho, I, had the strength, 

to turn this earthly orb. 

To uihisper minds to motion 

in silent thunderclap. 

A Faith to see unseen 
not to touch the uiound. 

Qlho, I, had the pouier, Jf&- 
to see truth in each event. 
To guide dark nights gently, / 

a light to sojourn soul. 

A hope in $me unmeasured, 

mho, i, 

t© bound - 




le might, 
il to Love. 
' : and holy, 
ry heart 

l5^ \*1 

Ulho, I, am! 
singed & nA 

od inside 
t to gold. 

in His arms to hold. 


Art by Lindsay Cropper 

wc arc ibe oihers 

fcjp, shred, tally wackle, storm 

Why should they be kind to us? 

Tnpp^d and buried by their norm, 

Tried +o jjet behind us. 

a (ret out of the way, little one, 

TV^ats what they advise us. 

Better not to be outdone, 

Never to deny us. 

We are the others, turn around, 

Your side of the fence though. 

Wave your weapons o'er your crown 

"TVtose barriers move to aund fro. 

Nay, 'tis good axxi righteous for us as or\z, 

To take a sledcje to that swarm ; 

Tripped and buried? A home run! 

fcjp, shred, tally wackle, storm. 

-5ean Dallas 



UK-Ending Cofftng 

He*e I ail ohm, wuj dem 

Waitiitq Jot you - Cwt willtin [vox 

"to &gftl JKcfecuitg . . .pCociitg tka&ww w waifo 

Aa wty a<w£ acndd to UH-ewliwj cof£ 


Wcto, I can (tea* titan tetwning (tew d^t^ice 

Wtg foaJtl kww n& bmuk - id tuitoul mibtaww 

bud (tern toe waSh I hoiieE o^o* 

Searching fcc^t wtAdiea antwtgat (lie at#w 

On I ga oa to ncto cwufcine 

Seme descending in wmum nkjuw 

Pujjh cJumw is (mw to ()(MKe^u£ awge 

Aa cm I got (cKmwng wge 

Fc^t yem exist euen i{ bwt in dotfeneaa 

Wtagfce inwaiWle iwlk pmm t& kfflwm 

Bui I'B &wuk mM toae n*to Jo££ tigkl 

LUewung to wdJcdg - to Ktuaic &i nigltl... 



a»- <* 

a ; 

L 4 


Art by Kirstin Schumm 

Free and Alive 

Crawled out of the caw and into the light 

Was greeted by the playful wind that held me so tight 

I walked on the path with the shining sun 

On my way I went was I the only one 

Feelin' so free and alive 

Into life's sweet waters I dive 

Won't you join me for a swim? 

Mmmm skinny dippin' just me and him 

Swirling around in the foam 

Letting smiles and caresses roam 

Continued on my merry way 

When I came across wolves at play 

They stopped and stared at me 

Asked so where is he? 

I said I didn't know 

And decided to romp and play 

Rolling in that bare earth 

Visions of you faded with the dust 

Followed the path round a bend 

Came upon some chickadees singing a sweet song 

The sweet melody called to me 

And said have you found him yet? 

I flew with the chickadees 

High into the great blue sky 

Saw a tiny vision of you 

Walking upon the beach 

Landing on the soft wet sand 

You came to me and said 

Won't you join me for a swim? 

Oh yes, let's ride the waves 

Feelin' so free and alive 

Into life's sweet waters I dive 

Wont you join me for a swim? 

Mmmm skinny dippin' just me and him 

Swirling around in the foam 

Letting smiles and caresses roam 

Michelle Neumann 


Once Upon A Time: An Interview with Jack Kapphan 

Some things never change, but more often than 
not, they will. For the past nineteen years, I've 
grown into a world dominated by cable television, 
fast food, cellular phones, the Internet, and pop 
music. But people like my grandfather, my mother's 
dan, Jack Miller Kapphan, grew up with a different 
American, the America of the Great Depression, the 
Second World War, jazz, and cheaper movies. My 
grandfather's story is, at certain times, a story of 
courage, or love, family, or war, but always a story 
of change. 


Jack was born February 28, 1923 in McCandless 
in southwestern Pennsylvania, with three older 
brothers: William, Ken, and Howard, ten, eight, and 
six years older than him, respectively. In the future, 
he would also have a younger sister, Donna. The 
four brothers were close growing up: playing a lot of 
the same sports, helping each other with schoolwork, 
and never tattling on one another. Being the 
youngest, Jack was also close to his sister, Donna, so 
sweet and polite, she would eventually make a great 
flight attendant. However, that would not save her 
from losing her job once she got married according to 


the law. 

Jack's mother, Mary, was a strict homemaker 
like most wives. Her steadfast philosophy was to let 
Dad be the disciplinarian, so he was always the one 
who would whack his kid's calf with a rolled up 
newspaper for punishment. Jack's father, William, 
was a utility worker for People's Natural Gas 
Company. Customers used to pay for gas for their 
homes by purchasing special coins from the gas com- 
pany worth a certain 


Let tomorrow worry about tomorrow, 

for today is the tomorrow 

that you worried about yesterday. 

-Kathleen >&?eavet 



Intimate energy and warmth poured from within the caf, 

Aromas of breads and sweets blending to perfection 

Like watercolor sunsets in nearby shop windows; 

An old woman crocheting hands trembling slightly peering over thin glasses, 

The corners of her mouth turned slightly upwards; 

A father speaking affectionately to his young son, 

Though I could not comprehend his speech, I understood his love; 

A soldier standing expressionless in worn boots and a dark green uniform, 

A rifle at her side. 


Candles emerging in windows. 

Late afternoon shadows capturing the beauty 

Of Jerusalem stone. 


Night falls fast, and we drive, fast. 

Passing car horns, disrupting dusk s tranquility. 

Then-A sound so thunderous, the car trembles. 

Frightened. Something in me- 

My heart? 

-Plunges deep into my stomach. 

Words spin, roll, tumble out of my father's mouth, but I hear only one. 



The word exudes such power, such potency. 

Bomb, Bomb, echoing through every orifice in my body and my mind. 

Desperately, I try to swallow. But my mouth is stale, arid. 

Maybe I can swallow this moment, I think. Maybe I can swallow fear, violence, hatred 

Maybe I can swallow reality. 

A scene so surreal, So quiet, so still. 

A cloak of silence, a cloud of smoke. 

Faceless bodies, sprawled on the ground. 

Twelve injured, two dead, said the news later that nioht. 

Numbers. Fine. Great. But their families, their stories? 

Too many questions left unanswered. 

Mother's voice shattered the barrier of confusion. 

A typical mother, telling me that everything was going to be okay 

A typical teenager, telling her that it wasn 't. 

Clouds in my eyes, I stared out of the car window at nothing 

Convincing myself that someday things would be different. 

That someday, I would be home again. 

Erica Zviklin 

Council R.ock Hiolr School. 

Grade 12 

Teacher: Ms. Andrea Lamberth 


The Late Night Arrest 

I was abruptly awakened by the sound of rolling thunder and the sight of blinding light- 
ning. Someone was at the door, and they had a job for me. The door creaked open and my part- 
ner, Sam, looked at me. I had been working with Sam for a while now. Whenever a robbery 
occurred, it was our job to catch the thief. Sam told me about the case tonight, and I sighed to 
myself, for it was the masked robber. He was some nut-job that wore a mask for dramatic effect 
and stole from the hardworking farmers near the area. He had escaped from me three times, 
prior to tonight, and I vowed there wouldn't he a fourth. 

We rode the car to the scene of the crime, and I started to get nervous. Car rides always 
get me anxious; I guess it's just my nature. We arrived at the Henderson's farm and we got out of 
the car. I went to the chicken pen, where the robber broke into. 1 don't know anyone who would 
steal livestock, but like I said, he was a nut job. I walked around the chicken pen, and I started to 
sniff around for clues. It was always my job to track down the criminals; it was Sam's job to catch 
them, Due to the rain, the tracks were almost undistinguishable. I took three more passes around 
the pen to see if I could find any tracks. I found it on the third pass, a small depression in the 
soft, wet mud. I followed the direction of the print and found more. The tracks went another 
fifty yards into the woods and then stopped at a small stream. All I could hope for was the path 
to come out of the stream again, but for now the masked robber had the advantage. This was no 
ordinary thief; he was smart, he was cunning, and he was dangerous. 

I looked at Sam; he was carrying a rifle with him, just in case things turned for the worse. He 
rarely took a shot, but if he had to, I prayed that he would be accurate. We did not want to kill 
the thief, but we wouldn't take any chances. 

We followed the stream for about three hundred yards, until the new path appeared. I 
spotted something moving through the trees and went to chase it, but Sam called me back. He 
kept me on a short leash nowadays. I followed the tracks into a patch of tall grass. The tracks 
were getting farther apart now. The thief was picking up his speed. I started to move faster, as I 
was following the tracks. I jumped over a log and landed on the other side when the air was split 
with the sound of cracking branches and wet grass. 

The thief had led us past a bear trap, hoping we would get caught by it. I had already 
made one mistake. I couldn't afford to make any more. Sam had nearly lost his foot because of 


the trap, and now the thief knew we were on his tail. 
"Hey," I barked to Sam. "We have to be careful." 

To my surprise, when 1 turned around to look at Sam, I saw two eyes shining in the dark- 
ness of the woods. Before 1 could even look again, the eyes were moving. I chased after them, 
ignoring Sam's calls and leaving him to chase after me. 

I was definitely on the thief's tail. He was fast, but I was faster. He discovered this quickly 
and used his knowledge of the woods to his advantage. We ran through the dark forest, past tall 
trees, around fallen logs, and over the muddy ground. Without warning, the thief turned and 
started town towards a tall oak tree. I dived after him, but he scampered up the damp, oak trunk. 
I tried to jump up after him, but I couldn't reach the branches. Besides, I was never good at 
climbing. 1 wasn't made for it. I waited at the base of the tree, barking taunts and challenges to 
the thief to get him to come down, but he wouldn't budge. Then I heard a sound of snapping 
branches and shoes squishing in the cold, wet mud. It was Sam! He looked at the tree I was sit- 
ting under and saw the thief. Before he could even aim his gun the thief jumped down and start- 
ed to run away. He got about five yards away when the sound of a gunshot reverberated through- 
out the cold, dark trees and shook the night. 

Sam walked over to the thief, picked him up by the tail, and slung him over his shoulder. 

"Here boy," Sam called. 

I came over, and Sam patted me on the head. I started to wag my tail and licked his hand. 

"That's a good dog," he said, "That 'coon won't he botherin' us any more now will he?" 

Bill Swartz 

Council Rock High School North 

Grade 10 

Teacher: Mrs. Brenda Hall 


A layer of dust ~ Neglected- 
(in the style of Emily Dickinson) 

A layer of dust — Neglected — 

Alone on the Shelf — a china cup 

A small Crack — hard to notice 

To those who don't look up 

Painted smiles — Broken handles 
Hidden tale — she's Unaware 
The cup - Unmoved for Years- 
Yet no one Knows it's there 

Next to the Ledge — it stands 

So close but no one Knows 

Can't push it Back — too Late 

The split grows larger — Exposed 

An intricate design — Unseen — 

A delicate Finish - useless 

Not quite perfect — so close 

Crashed to the ground — it won't be Missed 

Jess Sturzenegger 

Council Rock North 

Grade 12 

Teacher: Ms. Andrea Lamberth 


To the Admissions Office: A Collection of Sonnets, Chronicling a Long Relationship 

Sonnet 18 

Shall I compare thee to a summers day? 

Thou art not half so temperate as she: 

For thou, my wavring University 

Cannot decide on aught but what's your fee! 

Sometimes thou thinkest music of import, 

And then thou shalt accept the bookish mind, 

With q\<iy^ test and SAT you sport 

By chance, or your deans changing thought divined: 

But thou th'acceptance simply can't decide, 

Nor send th'admission letters that thou ow'st, 

Nor ma\^ I brag thou hast my papers eyed, 

When e'er thy procrastination grow'st, 

So long I write my essays or apply, 

Thou longer waitest and do not reply. 


Sonnet 18 

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? 

Thou art more lovely and more temperate: 

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, 

And summer's lease hath all too short a date: 

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, 

And often is his gold complexion dimmed, 

And zwr\^ fair from fair sometime declines, 

By chance-, or nature's changing course untrimmed: 

But thy eternal summer shall not fade, 

Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st, 

Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade, 

When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st, 

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, 

So long lives this, and this gives life to thee. 

Julia Soper 
The American Academy 

grade 12 
Teacher: Dr. Sharon Traver 


&ne ^Ces& Voice 
(oQi-hoem in ttn stute < / Zaixfston Q/tac/n< > J 

Gtwmeviert 's tanrtoaite vecfct nd with '/. oeaettuj 

Q/ne aoiden- tvrairie sootties in a //<//< -//on stute. 

Qjt/te rottinof mountains citatteitc/c t/te nurstinry vtno J. // . 

Qy/ie maiestic oceayns wry/. , the oroisnina waves smite. 

( bstjat tne ttostco r rds awe not real to mej 

(pac/i tiatriotic tmaaa is a hhatoa/rahn, 

Qyiie taint rs a cottaai <-/ /tie nation s it ride. 

OS tie sattu air- neavu loit/i orittiant nroiueru , 

ipr-usned anct Jn/tci/ it/ the incoming ticte . 

Qs cannot withstand tne current wnicn teaets ontu to ittusion, 

O/o gto-riueet tales o/ nonor ana a race wttio/t oittt/ create contusion . 

Jpan uo-a near QS&mewica S voice , tne true Sonet me tries to- stna,? 

Qs awn ttie iiroiirie, wttose iietots are tittereot witn test tie tie , 
Gv am tne mountains , wttose tieatcs are iactaed witii age, 

07 am tne ocean , w/ioSe tracti sit waters ntiin/te witn /ears 

QJears sited twiadevnientj tswrs shea tar- war, 
QJeoyrS shea as mu iteoiite snecumn to titer r fen rs . 

Q7 era tor tne co weirds in it/ // //< i/te < / /tie trace , 

Qjnow those enslaved in tne taint 1 / /t< /ree, 

Q^t'or t/tosc written/ tntt< in /tie tor net 0/ <////< rtaititt/ . 

( ' ite tess /■( ice- nt 1/ iioinie i< r< ver /arnrsiicct , 

One tess voice- mu otreawt tcwevc r i/mSu >>ttt< . 

&ne tess voice- mu own (t< < ///< </ /< u/ence. 

Q/\ara <~/<tat\ 
f < tutor i ' , 'A re/,- tfir/tt r /ott< ot r I < r/tt 

r^rade 12 
QyeaeA&r-: Qwts. QSqtin/reti Zattttortit 


Vww&iw ok Otawge 

Incited luj Ctoidte and Jeanne- CCaude: Tb Gated, 

Cwbid Vwik, Hew Y^k City 

Bc£d, f)t<wd owd tca«iiiu£ 

Tke outonge (Wmu/ c^ fcafetic danced in flte wiiid 

Teaioung owe* pecph 
Sewing m a caicc^y, a wujdteuj, a tcwiudci 

Tkal we ate M connected 

Vuvidwq warn dkadewd, a ccwwch gtound, 

A cRonce te fee indide ike ati 

lUatdd wete net HcccMaty 

The gated uJudpeted ituilw 

Tdat we deny fcicm cutde&ied 

Tke gated ptewded uifetancy 

On a edd Fefctttaty alteutMn 

The gated dpatked uf> pmwi 

Thai can get C<wi in fne cnaod 4 out Ciucd 

Tlte gated ptcwded a dineei KieUody 

Ad fliey twitliM in tlte wwd 

A dcug fltal can neuet be fcatgoften 

Ot tekindM 

Catf£in Ozga 
UJiddaluckon Higd ScKoofi 

Gwk 12 
Teacltci: Wit. Fiotenfino 



Sometimes, she cannot help hut pity him 

When he sleeps: 

Hard lines of his body prone and soft lines of his face relaxed 

She rarely sees them. 

He sleeps with his arm thrown over his eyes, 

Fending off unseen foes and protecting from 

Blows that he anticipates even in his dreams. 

Please, he roared. 

Send me back to the kingdom that my father entrusted to me. 

A king, indeed. 

It's in his gait as he paces along the beach. 

Back and forth, like an animal caged before he retreats in quiet magnificence. 

She likes to think she has tamed him, but the ferocity still lingeis in his eyes. 

Please, he begged 

Let me know the son that knows nothing of me. 

There is something intoxicating 

About seeing this man on his knees, pleading with his entire being. 

She could give in to him; release him to the whims of the universe. 

She likes to think she has broken him. 

Please, he whispers. 

Give me back to my wife. 

These words, so soft and convincing, 


Nearly penetrate. 

But how can this woman compare? 
Surely not in beauty, nor tenderness. 
She likes to think she has persuaded him. 

His sobs wrack her 

Almost as much as they wrack him. 

At night, his chest rasps with each deep breath, 

And his voice is as worn as his resolve. 

Times like these, she finds it hard 

To congratulate herself on her victory. 

Watching him sail away 

Is not as difficult as she anticipated. 

For years, she has followed his journey on the map formed by his scars. 

Countless nights, and she has memorized each trial and encounter. 

She realizes that the man that exists in her mind 

Is more satisfying than the one she released 

But, for once, blessed as she is, 

She finds herself jealous of a mortal 

Lauren Fram 

Council Rock High School North 

Grade 12 

Teacher: Ms. Andrea Lamberth 



Is published during the academic year by 

Delaware Valley College students. 

The Gleaner is a student publication and the opinions 

expressed within are not necessarily those of the Gleaner Staff or 

administration Neither the College nor the staff will assume 

responsibility for plagiarism unknowing occuring within.